The Electoral Register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal duty to compile the register for Medway and keep it up-to-date carrying out an annual canvass of households – usually between September and November. An updated Register is usually published by 1 December each year.
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The Electoral (full) Register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes such as making sure only eligible people can vote and for other limited purposes specified in law. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.
The Electoral Register is used:
- by election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office for electoral purposes
- by Medway Archives Centre and the British Library: who hold copies that anyone may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by the Electoral Commission, the Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundaries for most elections) and the Office for National Statistics
- by the council for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement
- when calling people for jury service
- by government departments: who may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees
- by credit reference agencies who can buy the register to help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit and to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering
It is an offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.